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Volume 24 No. 117

People and Pop Culture

Former Legendary Entertainment Chair & CEO and current Steelers investor THOMAS TULL purchased a home in Edgeworth, Pa., for $15M. The 14,474-square-foot house has "nine bedrooms, five fireplaces, five full baths, four powder rooms and a mini ski slope with snowmaking capabilities" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/14).

BUYERS & SELLERS: ESPN NFL analyst TRENT DILFER is selling his Saratoga, Calif., mansion for $7M. The 5,460-square-foot Spanish-style property "has five bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths." It "features four bedroom suites, two levels of grand formal rooms, a bocce court and vineyard" (, 2/15)....Mariners P HISASHI IWAKUMA has "bought a home" in Newport Beach, Calif., for $3.5M. The home includes a two-story family room "with a centerpiece fireplace, an open-plan kitchen with an oversized island and a glass-enclosed wine wall." There are also "five bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in nearly 4,000 square feet of living space" (, 2/15)....Panthers QB DEREK ANDERSON paid $2.8M in cash for a home in Scottsdale (, 2/13).

Univision Senior VP/Sports Programming & Acquisitions ERIC CONRAD is headed to The Big Easy this weekend for the NBA All-Star Game, and while he is excited to see JOHN WALL after growing up a Wizards fan, he will also be keeping a close eye on Saturday’s “El Super Clasico” featuring heated Liga MX rivals Chivas and Club America. Conrad: “It’s our biggest regular-season soccer match of the year. Usually I’m at that match, but we’re also content partners with the NBA so that brings me down to New Orleans this year.” The weekend represents a homecoming of sorts for Conrad, who used to work in the NBA’s international department before his career took him to Univision. While Saturday’s soccer match means Conrad will miss the NBA’s 3-Point and Slam Dunk contests, he is able to compartmentalize and appreciate the significance of each event. Conrad: “It’s a bit of a ‘too many sports, too little time’ issue, but hey, that’s a good problem to have.”

: I’m flying into New Orleans Saturday morning, so getting there a little bit on the latter part of the festivities but at least it’s not my first NBA All-Star Game. I’ll spend the afternoon getting ready for a formal meeting we have with the NBA itself on Sunday ahead of the game. Then it’ll really be nice to relax, connect with some former colleagues and enjoy the atmosphere because I’m a huge NBA guy. I’ll take in the game itself with the league’s media department and my Univision associates.

NO LOVE LOST: Saturday night Univision is having a small watch party at a local restaurant for the Clasico. It should be pretty rowdy as the Chivas-Club America rivalry is one of the most intense in sports. For those who don’t know, a lot of it is based on the deep history of success for both clubs, as in they’re the two winningest clubs in Mexican soccer history. It’s a natural rivalry that’s developed over decades. Chivas is thought of as a traditional Mexican club, as they only feature Mexican-heritage players. So there’s a bit of this “We are the true Mexican club” attitude versus Club America which is okay with bringing in players from different countries and spending big money. That adds a significant layer to it. They’re playing in Guadalajara at Estadio Omnilife and it’s a must win for Club America. I’m jealous I won’t be there this year because to witness the match in person is just incredible, but rest assured I’ll be watching. Our watch party will be about 10-15 people ready to chill out, have a few beers and watch the game. Hopefully I won’t be on the phone too much. I’ll DVR the Dunk Contest and watch it later.

FUTBOL FAMILY: Most weekends I’m up early on Saturdays and helping coach my son MAXIMO’s soccer team. My daughter JULIANNA is just tough as nails. She’s only 6 but playing on a 9-year old soccer team, totally taking advantage of her brother beating her up over the years. If I have some free time after their games, I usually take a long run to clear the mind and just escape for a little bit. Saturday night is date night with my wife KASEY. We’ll go out to dinner and appreciate the peace and quiet. A typical Sunday night has us watching something together on Netflix before I take the last maybe 30 minutes of the night to map out my week.

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair MICHELE KELM-HELGEN is resigning, saying that it is in the "public's interest to remove herself from ongoing reforms." Her last day is March 8 (, 2/16). Following Kelm-Helgen's resignation, Exec Dir TED MONDALE also resigned "rather than face an impending vote to remove him." The departures come as state legislators moved to "overhaul MSFA's structure, claiming lax management and oversight by the pair." Mondale and Kelm-Helgen faced "cascading criticism and scrutiny" that they and other MSFA commissioners "hosted friends, family" and others at two 18-person luxury suites at U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 2/17).

EXECS: Pegula Sports & Entertainment promoted Exec VP/Business Development BRUCE POPKO to COO. VP/Corporate Partnerships ERICA MUHLEMAN is being promoted to fill Popko's previous role (PS&E)....Marketing agency MKTG promoted MICHELLE BERG to Exec VP/HR & Operations (THE DAILY)....The First Tee of Southeast Wisconsin named Wisconsin State Golf Association Dir of Member Services & Communications DAVID COHN Exec Dir (THE DAILY)....The Red Bulls have "parted ways" with Sporting Dir ALI CURTIS. Curtis had been "absent from team activities for more than four weeks" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/17)....The Heat named former NBAer SHANE BATTIER Dir of Basketball Development & Analytics. His duties will include the development of analytics in evaluating all talent, including college, free agents and current players (Heat).

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Cavaliers F LEBRON JAMES as part of his eponymous mentoring program sent 23 ambassadors to New Orleans as part of All-Star Weekend, where they will "spend the first two days of their trip rebuilding homes in the old city's ravaged neighborhoods." The ambassadors are all in high school and attend either Akron Public Schools or St. Vincent-St. Mary's, James' alma mater. This is the third season in which James has "sent Akron students to the All-Star host city, but the first in which their mission is so focused" (, 2/16).

Michaels will be given the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football this month
NAMES: NBC's AL MICHAELS "will be given the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football at the NFL 101 Awards later this month" (, 2/16)....Patriots coach BILL BELICHICK will "narrate a one-hour documentary this offseason titled 'D-DAY: OVER NORMANDY.'" The film is "from the World War II Foundation (based in Rhode Island) and Tim Gray Media." The film is scheduled to air in the spring of '17 on PBS stations around the country (, 2/16)....Former NFLer JON BEASON said that he is donating $250,000 toward the Univ. of Miami's "efforts to finance an indoor football practice facility" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/17)....Chiefs RB JAMAAL CHARLES on Thursday set up a GoFundMe account to "help the Special Olympics USA Snowshoeing team get to the World Winter Games in Austria in March." Charles competed in the Special Olympics when he was 10 (K.C. STAR, 2/17).

IN MEMORY: Southern California Sports Broadcasters HOFer MIKE WALDEN, best known for his coverage of USC and UCLA sports, died Sunday at the age of 89 from "complications related to a stroke." Walden "occupied his own space in the constellation of iconic Southern California sportscasters of his time -- CHICK HEARN, VIN SCULLY, DICK ENBERG, BOB MILLER." Walden called USC football games from '66-72 before going on to "call games for UCLA for 18 more years." Wider exposure for Walden "came on the small screen, as part of the 'SUPER DAVE' television comedy series." Playing himself, Walden would "interview Super Dave Osborne, an ill-fated daredevil, before and after his doomed stunts." The show lasted 95 episodes and aired on Showtime (L.A. TIMES, 2/17).

With the Internet connecting us all, conducting your OTT service in a global marketplace is now more essential than ever before. Listen to industry experts, Mike Allen of the NBA and Chris Wagner of NeuLion, as SportsBusiness Journal’s Abe Madkour asks them about the importance of packaging content, supporting global currencies and local payment methods for video on any device. To sign up for the podcast, visit

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